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Pertronic helps protect Sydney Heritage Precinct

A Pertronic F220 fire system protects Sydney’s historic Argyle and Cleland Bond Stores precinct near the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Now used for restaurants, bars, shops, and offices, the precinct includes several heritage-listed buildings, built between 1828 and 1914. The Argyle Stores has four ‘wings’ ranging from two to four storeys, clustered around an open-air courtyard. Next-door on Playfair Street is the Cleland Bond Store, a four-storey timber-framed warehouse. The complex also includes several two-storey terrace houses on Playfair Street known as the Playfair Street Terraces and Argyle Terrace.

The complex’s fire detection and alarm system was recently upgraded to a Pertronic F220 analogue addressable fire system, engineered by Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE), now part of Stantec, and installed by Beaver Williams Pty Ltd.

The new system was installed and activated in stages, with each stage typically covering a zone or wing. Usually, the work had to be done at night, and planned to ensure the fire system was fully operational by morning. Retail and office space is occupied during the day; Entertainment businesses operate into the small hours of the morning.

Fire system designers worked in consultation with heritage consultants on the detailed design of components such as reticulations, fixings, and locations for manual call points and other fire system devices. Each item had to be reviewed, approved, marked out on site, and witnessed by the heritage consultant.

The detection system is built around a mix of point heat and smoke detectors, together with sensors at key points on the sprinkler system. Some components of the existing fire system were integrated into the new system. In the event of an alarm, the Pertronic F220 fire indicator panel automatically calls the fire brigade and triggers an EWIS, which tells everyone to leave via the nearest exit. In addition, the F220 triggers automatic responses designed to assist evacuation. For example, in bar areas, the F220 turns off sound systems and stage lighting, and switches the main lighting to full brightness.

The Argyle and Cleland Bond Precinct includes some of Australia’s most important heritage buildings. WGE Fire Protection Section Manager, David Quigley, told Firebits “It is our duty of care not just to protect the people who occupy the buildings, but also the structures themselves.”

“It’s a massive privilege, and something I’m very proud of,” added Beaver Williams Project Manager, David Collins.

Article courtesy of Pertronic; first published in its Firebits Newsletter, November 2019 Australian edition